Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Trump and the Seeds of Mass Hysteria

Trump and the Seeds of Mass Hysteria

America at the Hands of a Cult, Part 3
Part 1 - America at the Hands of a Cult | Part 2 - A Religious War

As yet another indictment of Trump rolls out, they can barely contain their excitement. Is this finally it? Will that long-awaited termination of their tormenter give the ruling class the peace they demand?

They’ve been patiently waiting, spending too much of their precious time hunched over a keyboard, saliva pooling at the edges of their mouths, tongues flicking with the promise of release - will anyone put them out of their misery?

The election of Trump was never allowed in their country. They would have done anything to keep him out of power. They protested violently, they negotiated with electors, they blamed Putin for Russian interference then they set about removing Trump from power from Day One.

Yes, and remember, that’s for them to decide, not you the voters. This is their country. You are invited to stand numbly from the sidelines, maybe buy a ticket to a rodeo once in a while, pay your taxes then sit down and shut up.

Stephen King perched upon the millions he made from writing about the very class of people who voted for Trump, loves to take any opportunity to remind them of their place in the American hierarchy. They have no power in a country ruled by an oligarchy of a new Gilded Age.

King has become like the Nancy Allen character in the film version of his novel Carrie, clutching the rope that will dump the pig’s blood on the prom queen.

Their ace in the hole? Jack Smith, the latest in a string of do-gooders and eggheads slaying imaginary dragons for King Obama. No, Joe Biden isn’t the King. He’s the stand-in. And even at that, he’s somehow managed to mess up. Oh, but Jack Smith and Merrick Garland and Adam Schiff, and Dan Goldman! They are riding in on their trusty steeds!

Nicolle Wallace and Joy Reid shower them with flowers from their ivory towers. Look, there’s Hillary too, where’s my horse, she bleats. They want to save their country from Trump. They want the people who want to vote for Trump never to vote for him again, or else.

Jack Smith did it at long last. He’s sure to be knighted now. He picked the perfect case in the perfect town at the perfect time. Now, they can David DePape their way to a conviction of Trump the Mighty Dragon just as he’s accepting the nomination from the GOP. How can they resist pulling that rope?

Of course, Judge Tanya Chutkan was tough on the Jan 6ers. She, like so many in America, who still trust mainstream media to tell them the truth [insert loud guffaw here] had already convicted the Trump supporters long before they showed up at the Capitol to “stop the steal.”

All they needed was the MAGA hat, the MAGA flag, and maybe a US flag for good measure - some guy to wave around a Confederate flag and just like that, the thing they most feared magically appeared.

Kind of an amazing coincidence, isn’t it? Now, they had their second Civil War that was as bad as 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, so said Kamala Harris. Now, they could weaponize political dissent. See how easy it is to manipulate people in the grips of mass hysteria?

The low-frequency hum of fear that racists infested much of this country in the flyover states was quickly spreading throughout culture and on college campuses, even in some high schools.

Racism, they were certain, was driving the populism fueling the Tea Party, Sarah Palin eventually, and then, of course, Donald Trump, with his accusations against Obama’s birth certificate. That was the last straw. Racism had invaded their utopia, and the hum was getting louder.

Race would be Trump’s original sin, but that would be compounded by another word, rape. A racist and a rapist was what Trump was convicted of by the left the day he took office.

By the end, he would be much more than that. A Russian asset, a fascist, a terrorist, a traitor, an insurrectionist. He was too fat for women. His hair was all wrong. They mocked how walked down a ramp, how he drank water, how he spoke. He was stupid, they said.

Trump became the receptacle for all of their own inner torments, their hatred of their own bodies, their failures in life, and the negative thoughts they had to bury. The same way the Devil coming to Salem had unlocked and unleashed something wild in the pent-up and frustrated young girls who now had the power to decide who lived or who died, those on the Left needed Trump to be every bad thing they could not touch or name.

All of that goodness forced upon them could be unleashed in one moment of pure ecstasy where they pushed the pin into their Trump voodoo doll. All they wanted was Orange Hitler in an orange jumpsuit.

How did we ever end up here?

How it Started…

One month before the 2016 election, long before Russiagate, the impeachments, the protests, the indictments, or January 6th, the worst thing Trump ever did was say five words on an Access Hollywood tape, “grab them by the p*ssy.”

The Access Hollywood tape was the October surprise to end Trump’s support with suburban women. Or so they thought. Doing their best to amplify the controversy, the New York Times asked industry professionals for their “sexual assault stories.” Mine was among them.

As a “sexual assault survivor,” as I’d begin so many of my tweets, I felt the light shining on me in ways it never had before. Now, I was aligned with all of the other women who felt like victims at the hands of men and Trump.

Suddenly, everywhere we looked, we could only see rapists. Was every romantic encounter we had in our lives actually a sex crime? Men were scary now. Their masculinity and sexuality were a major threat. Consent had to be given at all times, for handshakes even, for hugs, for drinks bought at a bar, and of course, for every kiss. We sought to dismantle The rapist patriarchy Me Too by Me Too.

By October, 2017, the Harvey Weinstein allegations broke in the New York Times. After Trump’s shocking win, the worldwide protests at his inauguration, the women’s march — the Weinstein story hit like a meteor straight into the freaked-out hive mind sending us all cascading into a major mass hysteria event second only to what would come a few years later in the Summer of 2020.

By the end of the Me Too movement, hundreds, maybe thousands of men would lose not just their jobs, but their reputations in the community with no due process or presumption of innocence.

I was a happy warrior, feeling a sense of purpose with my Hillary tribe as a “sexual assault survivor” for the first time in my life. ME TOO.

But then, things started to get weird. We imagined things in our mind’s eye and used that as proof to convict. Spectral evidence, just as they did in Salem in 1692. We could imagine Al Franken was a sexual harasser, and so he was.

One by one, the high-profile senators joined the pressure campaign to push Franken out. Some of the biggest names in the Democratic Party signed their names to the letter that forced his resignation with no due process.

The Al Franken incident was the first step in my eventually abandoning what the Left had become. I did start pushing back against what I recognized as mass hysteria. It did not go well.

I began publicly disagreeing with ludicrous accusations of racism against movies like La La Land or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, or Green Book which was treated like a second Trump win, hysteria-wise.

Race and rape, two of the things Trump was charged with, had become like witchcraft in Salem or Communism in the 1950s. We believed these inner demons infected people, and they were everywhere. Our job was to purge our utopia of all of them.

In June of 2020, an ex-girlfriend called the actor Ansel Elgort out on Twitter. By the end of the day, they accused Elgort of being a “pedophile rapist,” even though the young woman was a consenting adult.

When I pushed back on Twitter, I received some of the worst online abuse I’ve ever gotten, and for someone like me who has been online for almost 30 years, that’s saying a lot. What could possibly be going on other than mass hysteria?

This is hardly unusual for this time period on Twitter. Every day there was a new target, a new thought-criminal, a baddie whose life had to be ruined. This wasn’t the first time nor would it be the last time for me.

I decided to screenshot all of their tweets to preserve them for history, and then wrote a story about it.

There But for the Grace of God go I

I discovered that there is only one way to pierce the cycle of mass hysteria and dehumanization. There is just one word for it. It’s a switch inside of each of us that only has to be flipped for all of the madness to evaporate: humanity.

Humanity not just for those who agree with you, or who believe what you believe, but humanity for other people, even those you’ve been conditioned to hate.

Humanity is what happens to the Grinch after he takes everything away from the Whos and waits, with bated breath, to see them collapse into misery and bitterness - but instead sees them celebrating anyway.

Or when Scout confronts one of the angry men outside the courthouse in To Kill a Mockingbird. “I go to school with your boy,” she says.

In the darkest days of 2020, when I was isolated from any kind of social life, as we were all on lockdown, two of my closest friends died - one from an overdose and one from a heart attack. My daughter moved out for good. Every time I signed on to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for company, I was greeted with a blast of unfiltered, bottomless rage and hatred.

Whatever my state of mind was at the time, I could not stand it another minute. I didn’t want to be a part of it. I didn’t want to contribute to it. Worse, I understood for the first time that I was part of one group, dehumanizing another. Now, I was the kind of person who would go along with something like that.

I felt I had no choice but to get to know the people I’d been conditioned to hate. The first thing I noticed in Trump world was how happy everyone was. It felt like it was the only happiness I’d experienced in years. For the side that has all of the power and wealth, we sure were a miserable bunch.

Trump has a unique, lifelong gift to tell great stories and hold the attention of a crowd. No other politician can do what he does and talk to people like that. You would never know this by the version of Trump the media sells and that the Left believes exists. But trust me, I’ve watched every rally of his — all five a day in 2020 — and I know his speeches well.

His supporters know that Trump just talks. He just says stuff. They see in him what no one on the Left can see: vulnerability, sensitivity, humility. Those are the key ingredients to seeing other people as living, breathing human beings, not supervillains.

The Left accuses Trump’s side of being a cult, but the truth is that it’s the Left, not the Right, consumed by a fundamentalist ideology that mandates compliance.

They believe they have the right to persecute and prosecute Americans for their ideology. They don’t. They believe they have the right to decide who they should vote for American voters. They don’t. They believe they have the right to tell Trump what he can and can’t say, they don’t.

They believe we all must go along with the insanity they’re foisting upon us. We don’t.

Nothing has made me want to see Trump win more than what our Justice Department has done to this country just to satisfy a ruling oligarchy flying high on mass delusion who have been, for too long, cut off from the people who do the living, working and dying in this country.

What will finally end their mass hysteria is when they do what they should have done in 2016: listen. Ask the American people why they would vote for Trump. Ask them what they need, what our government can do for them instead of our government always looking out for itself.

There is so much energy coming up on the Right, voices unhindered by the establishment GOP that many of us find exciting, like Vivek Ramaswamy. Credit must be given to Trump who has stripped away so much of the pretense and paved the way for voices that don’t have to push the party line.

The Democrats could use a little of that Trumpian spirit to free them up too, to allow brighter visions for our future to find their way past the madness that has overtaken the party.

A Visible Saint

Rebecca Nurse was a Puritan who sailed across the sea with her family to the New World, where they could worship in the most pure rendition of the Protestant faith. She was so devout the church named her a “visible saint.”

At 70 years-old she found herself an accused witch. Many in the town could not believe it, but there she was, tossed into the miserably cold and deathly jail awaiting trial.

They forced her to submit to humiliating examinations of her private parts as adolescent girls shrieked and squirmed in court and accused her of biting them and chaining them up (they even manufactured this evidence to “prove” it). But Nurse could not and would not confess, that is how much she loved God.

At first, the jury acquitted Nurse - it was just too preposterous to believe — but the girls insisted. By now, one woman had already been hanged on their testimony. To turn back meant they were liars and worse, murderers. They had to keep going.

Before they executed Rebecca Nurse, they punished her with an even worse fate. They excommunicated her:

The life of 70 year-old Nurse was taken from her by a town in the grips of mass hysteria that led to mass delusion and eventually, mass formation. How else could they tell her she was damned for eternity just before hanging her in front of her friends, her family, her neighbors, and her church?

After each hanging, the Puritans would celebrate in the tavern, relieved to have won one more battle in their ongoing war against the Devil.

Jack Smith, Joe Biden, Merrick Garland, Adam Schiff, and so many in the FBI and in our government are like the Oyer in Terminer in Salem by now. They’ve gone too far to turn back. They will have to see it through, no matter the cost to all of us. No matter the cost to the country.

The adaptation to Trump has always been to shrug and move on, not to try to tame such a wild spirit, but to be better, more interesting, more compelling, more entertaining. But they can’t do that because they are trapped inside a prison of their own making, one that has made them hesitant and afraid.

They’ve lost everything that made them free, everything that made them great, and all for what? To bring down their imaginary dragon?

And they, too will celebrate, as will there rest of those who believe Trump’s mere existence has taken something vital away from them. And maybe for a while, they too will feel like they won an important battle in an ongoing war. That is until the next finger is pointed at the next threat to their utopia.

Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
Essays on politics and culture from Sasha Stone's Substack. A former Democrat and Leftist who escaped the bubble to get to know the other side of the country and to take a more critical look at the left.